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Backstory

        Amaterasu started her new life as the disciple of Izanagi and Izanami, who granted her the warmth of a family again. She thought they would live happily ever after. One day, Izanagi found Izanami practising black magic secretly. She even taught it to the young Kagutsuchi and Tsukuyomi.
 
        ’’To you, ‘family’ does not exist.’ said Tsukuyomi coldly. ‘I thought you’d understand.’ lamented Kagutsuchi. The two turned away to follow Izanami and disappeared into the heavy mist. Amaterasu yelled, ‘Kagutsuchi! Tsukuyomi! Please don’t go!’ They did not react to her pleading voice. She reached out to seize them but all she caught was a cloud of mist. She cried, ‘We promised to stay together forever. Tsukuyomi...Kagutsuchi!’ Susanoo went away to practice onmyodo alone.
 
        Their fragmentation put Amaterasu in grief. Every night she dreamed about the heartbreaking moment Kagutsichi and Tsukuyomi walked away. This helpless feeling hindered her onmyodo practice. She no longer believed everything had beauty. She concealed these thoughts, thinking it would ease the pain.
 
        One day, she went to the mountain to practice meditation, but she could not calm her irritated mind. Izanagi asked, ‘Amaterasu, mind if I interrupt you for a second?’ ‘Of course not, Master. What’s the matter?’ ‘I accepted a request to exorcise the youkai in the village. I want you to come with me.’ ‘Sure. Let me pack up first,’ smiled Amaterasu. When she walked away to prepare the equipment for excorcism, Izanagi stared at her quietly…
 
Amaterasu and Izanagi came to a warehouse following a villager. He stammered nervously, ‘It-it’s here...Weird sounds have been coming out of this warehouse. Food and people that went inside never came back...Ple-please…’ The villager ran away afterwards. Izanagi and Izanami steadily approached the warehouse. Heavy youkai energy leaked from the door. Amaterasu drew a pentagram kekai surrounding the warehouse and waited for Izanami to lure the youkai out. Izanagi quietly pushed the door open to the inside.
 
        Amaterasu only had to wait, but she did not lower her guard. She held a fulu and a fan, ready to confront the youkai. Suddenly the door flung open! A giant youkai toad thrust at Amaterasu, who swiftly leapt over the toad to dodge the attack and stuck a fulu on its back. She shoved the fan in her belt and performed a mandra, ‘Break!’ The fulu exploded and knocked the toad down. However, the impact was not strong enough to defeat it. It reached out with its huge tongue to attack her. She drew her fan to flick the tongue away and leapt forward. She threw energy in the form of a chain with her fan, binding the toad tight.
 
        She tried to talk it into redemption, but the youkai energy in this toad felt too similar to Izanami’s black magic. As she recalled the moment they left and the tears of her master, frustration filled her mind... The burning fury carried her away. She ignored the toad’s begging and whipped it with her fan and spells repeatedly, ‘Talk! Talk I said!’
 
        Izanagi came out hearing the toad’s wails. It lay on the ground, barely breathing. He seized her shoulders, ‘That’s enough.’ Amaterasu snapped out of her trance and lowered her fan. She gawked at the toad, which had been severely injured by her attacks. She lamented, ‘I-I’m sorry...I…’ She did not usually act like that. Izanagi embraced her without saying anything and stroked her head. Tears gushed out of Amaterasu’s eyes. She could not help crying in her master’s arms. She cried until her throat burned and her eyes swelled up. The long suppressed grief exploded…
 
        Amaterasu asked for permission to read the book of black magic, ‘I’m well aware of black magic’s harm. I have no intentions of practising black magic, but we must understand it to save Mistress, Tsukuyomi, and Kagutsuchi.’ ‘But…’ Izanagi frowned at the book in his hand, thinking his beloved disciple may go astray like his wife. Amaterasu stepped forward, held his hands, and smiled, ‘We can read it together. You keep it afterwards. I’d sacrifice anything, even my life, to bring them back.’ Although Amaterasu knew the book had the ability to corrupt the reader, she had confidence in her unbreakable will and her determination to save those important to her and bring back the peaceful days with her family.

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